A Brief Overview of the Term "Cool"

The term "cool" means that the object in question is environmentally friendly, or meets the standards of the Kyoto Protocol (Pronounced Key-yo-tow), thereby limiting it's emission of harmful substances into the atmosphere.

The Problem we are Facing

Whether we know it or not, the way we live our lives is producing more greenhouse gasses than it needs to. This is causing glaciers to melt, sea levels to rise, and it is putting millions of lives at risk. Animals and plants that used to be able to survive in certain areas of the world are being driven to extinction, affecting major parts of food chains. There are worse outcomes foreseeable in the future, if no changes are made to our lifestyles.

- Do it Yourself! - Working With Light Bulbs

Do you leave lights on when you're not in the room? This can waste more electricity and in turn money than you may know. Here's an example; every light bulb has a watt rating on it. Let's say the watt rating is 75. So the bulb uses .075 kWh (kilowatt hours). Now find the cost per kilowatt you pay to your power company. Now let's say that that cost is 9.69 cents per kWh, the U.S. average in April of 20091. Multiply the kWh for the bulb by the cost per kWh, and get the amount of cents you pay for that one bulb being on for one hour.

In this example that would come out to slightly less than 73 cents. Now multiply that number by the amount of hours that the bulb is usually on in a day (say 15 hours), then a week (a total of 105 hours), a month (around 420 hours), and finally a year (a grand total of 5,040 hours). Multiplying the cost per hour against these numbers will give you 10.9 cents, 76.3 cents, 3 dollars and 5.2 cents, 36 dollars and 62.8 cents. All for just one light bulb! Around half of this is unnecessary, too.

Turning it off when it isn't needed doesn't only save you money though; it minimizes the CO2 (carbon dioxide) put into the air. If this doesn't amaze you, then try this: Multiply the number you pay for that one light bulb by the amount of light bulbs in your home. (The average being 15-20, which would mean a cost of around 550 dollars - 733 dollars total) Around half of that is unnecessary, but is still used, so see how much money you could save per year by cutting down on light bulb usage? (After just 5 years you could have saved around 1,750 dollars!)

Plants Will use CO2, so What is the Problem?

Plants will use it to some extent, but there is so much CO2 being emitted from cars, refrigerators, light bulbs, factories, air conditioners, etc., that the remaining plants that aren't being clear-cut can't use it all. Whatever they can't use goes up into the atmosphere and there it stays, keeping heat in.

1: Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-826